Alice and Jasper were in the right of the clearing fighting off Heidi and Corin, two members of the Volturi Guard that had special abilities, though I had no idea what they were. Even with his skills and experience in this field, Jasper looked like he was in a bit of a challenge with Corin, but tiny Alice seemed to be holding her own. Seeing Heidi's moves before she could attack, Alice jumped to the side as the tall blonde lunged for her throat, mouth open. She fell to the ground and growled viciously.
It was hard to keep the shield on the right people, but I had plenty of room to think about what I was doing and still be concerned for everyone's safety.
Heidi and Corin suddenly played a blank look on their faces. Zafrina tensed in front of me, now standing erect. Alice whipped behind Heidi and pulled her arms back at the same time Jasper grabbed Corin by the neck. I assumed that battle was over.
I turned my attention back to the field, expanding and contracting the fabric of my shield as nescessary. Even though I was sure Edward would hold up due to his gift of mind-reading, most of my mind was reserved for my worry of his safety. Now, as I scanned the field, I did not see him or Demetri. Zafrina was out of her gifted state and crouched in front of me again, he eyes darting all over the clearing.
"Zafrina," I started but she cut me off.
"I know, little one. But you must focus on the occuring battle. Your Edward is all right," she reassured me in her deep jungle voice. I listened to her, knowing in my cold, still heart that what she said was true.
The wolves had joined the fight. I could tell the big, black one out from all the others. Sam was trying to break through the rest of the light gray guards to where the three brothers and two wives were observing the battle. But he could not penetrate the stone wall. He rammed forward only to be knocked back thirty feet, landing on his shoulder. I cringed at the sight of him being incapacitated like that. Then a shaggy, sandy wolf aided him and lunged at the brick wall. Seth Clearwater managed to grab ahold of the wrist of one of the guards, but the burly, pale man I saw as his hood fell off, swiftly threw him back over the wall.
"Why would they throw him back there!" I exclaimed, not needing an answer. I knew why they had surrendered the sandy wolf to Aro, Marcus... and Caius. Caius, who had burned Irina, the sister of Tanya and Kate and good friend of Carlisle, the one who had alerted the Volturi of the "abomination", as they had called Renesmee. The traitor, as Irina had been crowned.
"Noooo!" I screamed, throwing myself into the clearing. I left the shield where it was, extruding it from my mind so it would stay around my family. I raced across the clearing, dodging the body parts that flew around me. But I was smacked in the head by something long and pale and fell down into the snow, face first. I swiveled around onto my back, but it was too late. Demetri stood above me, his booted foot on my leg and hand on my right arm. He wore a wicked smile on his face and in his knarly voice, said,
"I'm going to enjoy doing this," and with that he ripped my arm right out of its socket. It didn't hurt, really, but it wasn't pleasant either. I showed my teeth growling furiously and thrashing about, but my newborn strength was wearing off, and I couldn't shake him. He now had his other hand, half of it torn away, on my left arm. I leaned up and snapped at him, but he started to pull up.
A body suddenly flew over me with a roar, knocking Demetri to the ground my body was released and I searched frantically for my arm. I found it at the edge of the white forest and put it up to my shoulder, forcing it into place. Miraculously, it stayed in place. Loosely, but I was able to flex my arm. I looked over to where my savior stood, holding Demetri's mangled body in his hands.
"Edward!" I shrieked and ran to him. I melted into his arms.
"It's okay Bella, love, it's alright," he crooned, but I could hear the pain in his voice as he ran his hand up and down my arm. I wanted to stay like this and run. Just me and Edward, safe now because the Volturi couldn't track us.
But then I smelled smoke and the stench of burning flesh,and I knew this entire fight was about something bigger. I reluctantly peeled myself away.
"Edward, Seth," I cried pointing to where the brothers stood behind their evaporating guard. He nodded his head in understanding and was gone in the next second, me following right behind him. Without stopping, he called back,
"I'll distract the guard, you need to break through to Seth!" I wanted to protest, but agreed. We reached the wall of vampires in two seconds and Edward pounced on the line, easily knocking three of the men down and forming a hole for me to get through. I jumped over the remaining men and fell into a devastating scene.
Seth lay on the ground in an odd position, almost like he was being dissected. The fur on his right arm was on fire. Fury took control of me. How could they do this to such a young boy?! He was only fifteen years old for crying out loud! My vision blurred with red specks as my lips pulled even wider over my venomous teeth. The poison practically dripped from my teeth. Caius stopped, mid burn to look at me. His milky eyes grew wide and the silver metal dropped from his hand. Aro and Marcus's faces mimicked his, though Marcus's far less concentrated, and the three of them backed away slowly. Aro and Caius stood protectively in front of their wives; Marcus just stood to the side of the formation. I smiled. The frauds had never fought a day in their life. So we were both new to this. I knew that their old, brittle bones, as mutantly strong as they were, could not stand my power. This would be over quickly and quietly.
But before I could attack them, the giant wolf on the ground whined and looked up at me. It's face was bloody and misshaped. It was pitiful. I couldn't stand to see Seth in such condition, it was unnatural. The red disappeared from my sight. My throat burned from all the blood pouring from the animal in front of me, but my friendship with the boy inside the wolf was stronger than my raging thirst. If I had a heart, it would have broken in that instant. I skipped over to Seth and sat down next to him. The fire was burning up to his shoulder now, and the fur behind it was black and singed. I pressed my hands against the inferno, patting it out. Then I did my best to clean the wounds with a scrap of cloth from my shirt.
When I heard one of the brothers approaching, my head snapped up and I snarled from deep inside my throat. A beautiful woman with long, flowing brown hair and molten golden eyes backed up then hesitated. Then she came forward again and sat on her knees on the other side of Seth. My lips curled back over my teeth and my eyes grew wide, a warning not to come any closer. But she simply looked into my blood-red eyes and then into Seth's. She ran her hand down his blood streaked face then back up, collecting some running blood. I stared at her in disbelief. Was she truly helping this creature? He held her bloody hand to her nose and inhaled. Then she tore off a piece of heavy cloth from her flowing black cape. It wrapped around Seth's head, then looked at me.
"I have not tasted a human's blood in three-thousand years." Her voice was quiet, yet deep and rich. Her pale complexion and soft features didn't make her anything special, but the way she spoke was of great wisdom. I found myself staring at her, anticipating her next words. She looked down to Seth's horrid face. "I do not intend to harm this one," she looked at me intensely, "or any others of your pack, just as long as you let us leave in peace," she motioned back to the party behind her. Another woman stood out from behind Caius.
"Sulpicia!" the elegant woman gasped, disapproval clear on her face. The one called Sulpicia glanced back at her companion and stood. Her eyes became very hard.
"We shall leave in peace, Athenodora. We have already lost many of our own, as have they," she stated plainly. Who had we lost? Who had I lost? I broke down on Seth, not caring if his blood was spilled on me. I felt a cold hand on my cheek, lifting my head up to meet Sulpicia's eyes. "This one," she said softly while gesturing to Seth, "needs to be cared for." She floated back to the brothers and took her place next to Aro. Caius gently forced Athenodora back into position behind him, and Marcus stood to face me, his brothers doing the same. Aro spoke in his whispery voice.
"We shall leave now, in peace, young ones." I felt Edward next to me but standing over Seth and I. I allowed myself to break down again, heaving with no tears. "But we will be back to monitor the child's growth," he warned looking down on Edward.
"We will be waiting," is all that was said. I saw Carlisle joining our conversation, his stance next to Edward tense. In a calm but strict voice, he directed,
"Do not hunt until you are out of state, Aro. We do not want any more harm to anyone than what has been done today." Aro said nothing and the five of them floated away, never pausing to look back.
Edward and Carlisle carried Seth's writhing body out of the clearing and into the woods leaving me in the snow. It was stained red on white where his young blood had spilled. Only Edward returned after Seth was gone to put his arms around me. I turned around and buried my heat in his chest. Only then did I notice that the clearing had gone silent. I sobbed into Edward's torn shirt.
When the sobs had receded I looked up at his wary face and sighed. Part of me was glad the fight was over, but the other part was drowning in worry and anxiety. Who was gone?